11 Dec – Martha Marie Wright Tennant – Five Year Diary

Diary Dec 11

1942 – Marie Wanted To go up To Joes Today. I kept Donnie Dad & Bud worked Bird May go the 15th To Arizona camp.

1943 – Fellows of Kern got Together & raised the $1000.00 & Smitty came home tonight His wife was sure glad.

1944 – No entry

1945 – No entry

1946 – No entry

Since Grama isn’t very good about using punctuation and erratic in her capitalization, it is sometimes hard to make out the meaning of her entries. In the 1942 entry, I think she is talking about a person named Bird who may be moving to a place called the Arizona camp. Bird has shown up several times in the diary. This is the first time I’ve heard mention of the Arizona camp. When I google Arizona camp in 1942 I got articles on a Japanese internment camp called Poston or the Colorado River Relocation Center. It was commonly referred to as Arizona Camp. Could Bird have been of Japanese ancestry? I remember my mother talking about Japanese-American friends who were sent to some camp. Could this have been them?

The continuing saga of Smitty is the subject of the 1943 entry. There seems to have been no concerns about his guilt in this matter. I don’t know whether to be proud that they rallied around a friend in trouble or upset because they treated rape as a minor thing. $1000 was huge money in those days. (Grama’s grocery bill was about $8 a week in 1943.) Therefore, I’m thinking there must have been enough evidence to convince the judge that a high bail was needed. 

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One Response to 11 Dec – Martha Marie Wright Tennant – Five Year Diary

  1. Nicole says:

    Using an inflation calculator the $1000.00 in 1943 = $13,585.85 today. Not as much as I thought but still a lot!

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